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In  llSFniQFiani. 





General  Samuel  L.  Williams, 

By  his   Nephew,!/ 





In  lUBprnoriem. 

"  The  hoar\  head  is  a  croivn  of  glory  ^  if  found  in  the  luay  of  righteousness." — Prov.  xvi.  3  I , 

I  am  here  to-day,  my  brethren,  not  to  preach  a 
juneral  discourse^  in  the  sense  in  which  that  phrase  is 
sometimes  used  ;  but  to  moralize,  for  your  benefit  and 
my  own,  upon  the  life  and  character  of  one  who,  as  a 
citizen  and  neighbor  and  friend,  lived  long  enough 
among  us,  and,  surely,  well  enough,  to  leave  behind 
him  a  name  that  may  ^x\y  point  a  moral. 

1  had  the  fortune,  a  few  years  ago,  to  stand  here 
and  meditate  with  you  upon  the  life  and  character  of 
another — of  one  who  had  lived  and  labored  among 
you  for  many  years  as  a  servant  of  the  Lord  Jesus 
Christ  and  an  advocate  of  the  Ancient  Gospel.  To- 
day, we  meet  to  remember  one  who  was  ever  a  Jonathan 
to  your  David;  who  supported  him  with  his  strong 
arm  ;  who  battled  with  him  against  error ;  and  who 
finally  confessediiWfat  same  Christ  whose  Church  he  had 
long  befriended. 


You  all  remember  the  occasion,  when,  on  the  third 
Lord's  day  in  October — this  very  day,  now  many  years 
ago,— John  Smith  preached  from  this  stand  the  funeral 
of  that  good  woman.  Aunt  Fanny.  It  was  on  that  day 
that  our  deceased  brother  and  kinsman,  having  buried 
his  wife,  accepted  Jesus  as  his  Lord,  and  gave  to  his 
Savior  a  heart  stricken  with  grief,  and  enriched  by  the 
experience  of  more  than  three  score  years  and  ten. 

What  a  scene  was  that  for  you,  my  older  brethren  ! 
Here,  on  this  very  spot,  that  veteran  of  the  Cross, 
John  Smith,  embraced  as  a  brother  our  veteran  of  the 
farm,  the  field,  and  the  forum  !  Their  lives  had  started 
on  different  planes — they  had  long  lived  in  different 
spheres — yet,  converging  ever,  they  met  at  last  at  the 
foot  of  the  Cross,  and  found  in  each  other  more  than 
the  friendship  of  forty  years — they  found  a  common 
hope,  a  common  faith,  and  a  common  love!  Here 
they  wept  together,  clasped,  like  little  children,  in  each 
other's  arms  ! 

Let  us  rest  to-day  in  the  pleasant  faith  that  they 
who  were  at. last  thus  united  in  their  lives,  in  their  death 
are  not  divided  ! 

The  untimely  death  of  the  young  and  hopeful 
always  yields  a  profitable  lesson :  the  departure  of  a 
mature  man  in  the  midst  of  his  years  from  business 
and  family  and  all  the  blessedness  of  the  earthly  life,  is 
full   of  solemn   instruction  ;   but  the  ripe  dropping  of 

IN     MEMORIAM.  5 

an  old  man  into  the  tomb, — the  quiet  demise  of  one 
who  has  lived  out  his  full  life,  and  outlived  his  genera- 
tion,— is  the  most  profitable  of  all  life's  solemn  lessons. 

We  often  see  the  bud,  rich  in  promise,  blighted  by 
an  early  frost;  we  sometimes  see  the  green  tree,  with 
all  its  pride  of  foliage  and  fruit,  riven  by  the  thunder- 
bolt, or  uprooted  by  the  tornado  ;  but  we  stand  with  a 
peculiar,  mournful  interest  by  the  aged  oak  that,  having 
seen  a  hundred  springs  blossom  and  fade  around  it, 
and  having  braved  the  fury  of  a  hundred  storms  among 
its  branches,  yields  at  last  to  the  influence  of  time,  and 
drops  amid  the  stillness  of  the  forest — the  memorial  of 
an  age  that  has  passed  away  ! 

The  subject  of  our  address  was  an  old,  very 
venerable  with  years.  He  knew  your  fathers  while  yet 
they  slept  unconscious  in  their  cradles  ;  he  was  a  guest 
at  your  ancestral  homes  while  yet  the  almost  unbroken 
forest  and  matted  cane  closed  round  their  humble  but 
hospitable  cabins.  Yonder,  on  one  spot,  almost  in 
sight,  he  lived  for  eighty  years  !  For  a  while  he  was  a 
subject  of  George  III,  then  a  citizen  of  free  America; 
first  he  was  a  resident  of  Virginia,  then  of  Kentucky  ; 
first  of  Fayette,  then  of  Bourbon,  then  of  Clark,  then 
of  Montgomery.  Two  governments  claimed  him — 
two  states  enrolled  him — five  counties  taxed  him  ;  and 
yet  the  old  patriarch,  during  all  these  mutations  in 
governmental  affairs,  changed  but  once  the  place  of  hi§ 


abode  !  He  lived  and  died,  at  more  than  four  score 
years  and  ten,  amid  the  veritable  scenes  of  his  child- 
hood ! 

How  peculiar  must  have  been  the  feelings  with 
which  the  old  man  looked,  in  his  last  years,  upon 
the  generation  that  now  gather  around  his  tomb  ! 
There  is  but  little  sympathy,  brethren,  between  the 
present  and  the  past;  and  he  who  lives  beyond 
man's  allotted  time,  finds  himself  at  last  a  stranger 
among  his  kindred — a  stranger  in  the  very  land  of  his 

The  young  press  forward  in  their  race,  and  crowd 
upon  the  old,  seemingly  impatient  for  their  departure  ; 
while  the  old,  losing  their  hold  on  the  concerns  of  life, 
retire  first  from  business,  then  from  society,  and,  at 
last,  from  life  itself,  finding  only  in  the  tomb  that 
dreamless  respite  from  care  which  the  toils  of  manv 
years  always  make  so  welcome. 

And  so  shall  it  soon  be  with  us,  my  younger  breth- 
ren !  We  have  taken  in  our  hands  all  the  business  of 
life:  church  and  state,  commerce  and  agriculture,  the 
civilization  of  the  age — all  are  now  in  our  hands;  and 
we  move  on  with  the  years,  carrying  these  varied  in- 
terests with  us.  But,  in  a  few  days,  we  will  be  over- 
taken by  the  pursuing  host  of  a  younger  people  ;  we 
will  resign  our  work  into  other  hands;  we  will  linger 
awhile   as   idle   spectators  of  new  scenes,    in    which    we 

IN     MEMORIAM.  y 

can  take  no  part,  and  then,  resting  for  a  time  in  the 
caini  of  our  firesides,  find  in  welcome  graves  the  end  of 
life's  fitful  dream  ! 

No  man,  permitted  to  live  as  long  as  our  brother, 
can  be  said  to  have  lived  in  vain.  His  life,  contem- 
plated from  a  moral  and  religious  point  of  view,  is  full 
of  instruction. 

In  him  we  saw,  in  all  the  strength  of  their  matu- 
rity, some  of  those  noble  old  virtues  that  have  well 
nigh  become  obsolete  with  us.  For  Virtue,  while  it  is 
ever  the  same  in  itself  and  in  the  sight  of  God,  loses 
and  regains  her  popularity  according  to  the  fluctuations 
of  human  tastes  and  interests.  There  are  some  virtues 
which  we  of  this  generation  call  old-fashioned  ;  there 
are  some  men  that  have  outlived  their  times,  whom  we 
denominate  men  of  the  olden  school. 

Such  was  our  brother.  Reared  to  manhood  in  the 
century  that  has  gone  by,  he  brought  down  and  exem- 
plified to  us  some  of  the  noblest  virtues  of  the  past. 

We  have  advanced  in  science;  we  have  improved 
in  art  ;  we  have  gone  forward  in  the  march  of  a  ma- 
terial civilization;  but  it  is  a  question  whether  we  have 
not  lost  somewhat  in  virtue  as  we  have  gained  in 


Our  brother  was  frugal,  without  parsimony  ;  he 
was  economical,  without  meanness.  He  saved,  not  to 
hoard,  but  to  secure  a  competency  ;  and  with  that  he 
was  content.  Too  often  our  economy  is  a  weakness,  if 
not  a  vice;  and  our  industry,  instead  of  being  health- 
ful and  provident  labor,  is  insane  speculation,  ever  fired 
with  the  greed  of  gain. 

How  seldom  do  we  see  a  man  of  our  day  quietly 
reap  the  fruits  of  his  earlier  toils,  and  then  sit  down 
satisfied  and  content  with  a  moderate  income!  Indus- 
try is  bloated  into  enterprise;  competency  has  over- 
leaped its  limits,  and  the  maxim  of  frugality  is  to  gain 
what  you  can,  and   to  hoard  what  you  gain. 

How  instructive  in  this  regard  is  the  life  of  one 
who,  in  the  midst  of  a  money-making  and  money- 
loving  people,  exemplified  for  us  the  simple,  prudential 
virtues  of  a  less  avaricious  age  !  Would  that  the  men 
of  our  time  could  exchange  their  ambition  to  be  rich 
for  this  manly  spirit  of  independence  and  content  ! 
Greed  for  more  than  we  can  enjoy,  is  the  idlest  of 
all  passions,  and  the  parent  of  a  whole  progeny  of 



Another  of  the  now  decaying  virtues  which  so  dis- 
tinguished our  fathers,  was  simplicity  of  life  and  man- 
ners. We  are  growing  every  year  more  and  more  arti- 
ficial, conventional,  and  ceremonious.  I  doubt,  indeed, 
whether  we  could  engraft  upon  our  age  the  natural, 
disingenuous,  and  unaffected  manners  of  the  past. 
But  surely  we  often  lose  in  loveliness  what  we  gain  in 
ostentation.  Our  ambition  is  to  appear — theirs  was  to 
be  ; — and  what  they  were,  too,  all  around  them  knew. 
Now  it  is  hard  sometimes  to  know  a  neighbor.  Men 
disguise  themselves,  and  society  has  become  a  sort  of 
masquerade.  We  try  to  impose,  —  to  display, — to 
strike  with  appearances.  We  are  gorgeous  in  apparel, 
sumptuous  in  table,  elaborate  in  toilet,  ceremonious  In 
manner,  and  ambitious  even  In  our  hospitality.  How 
striking  is  the  contrast  between  all  this,  and  the  plain, 
the  wholesome,  the  simple,  the  sincere,  and  the  genu- 
ine, that  characterized  the  manners  of  our  good  old 
fathers  ! 

I  do  not  condemn  the  culture  and  taste  of  modern 
times,  nor  lament  the  disappearance  of  what  may  have 
been  harsh  and  rude  in  their  manners  or  customs;  but 
surely  the  taste  of  these  times  has  so  adulterated   itself 


with  pride,  that  we  too  often   seek  to  adorn   merely  for 


Another  sterling  quality  of  the  gentleman  of  the 
olden  school,  was  a  broad-minded,  warm-hearted,  and 
open-handed  hospitality.  That  trait  early  distin- 
guished the  citizens  of  our  noble  old  Commonwealth, 
Kentucky  was  famed  abroad,  not  only  among  her  sis- 
ter States,  but  almost  throughout  the  civilized  world, 
for  her  cordial  reception  of  the  stranger,  and  for  the 
genial  fellowship  of  her  citizens, — for  their  open  doors, 
their  broad  tables,  and  their  ample  firesides. 

And  in  all  this  State,  there  was  not  a  host  or 
hostess,  whose  heart  leaped  with  a  more  cordial  welcome 
at  the  approach  of  friend  or  stranger  than  that  of  the 
dear  old  man  in  whose  memory  we  meet  to-day,  and  of 
the  dear  old  woman  whose  memory  is  forever  linked 
with  his!  All  the  resources  of  good  cheer  without, 
and  all  the  fund  of  social  pleasantry  within,  were  ex- 
pended without  stint,  to  make  their  house  the  home  of 
their  guest,  whether  he  were  rich  or  poor. 

But  even  this  most  beautiful  of  social  virtues  is 
growing  obsolete  with  the  change  of  times,  and  the  in- 
troduction of  other  ideas  and  customs.  And,  unless 
the  expansive  power  of  Christ's  religion  shall  warm  our 


hearts  and  broaden  our  charity,  we  fear  that  the  old- 
fashioned  hospitality  of  our  fathers  will  cool  and  con- 
tract into  a  selfish  formalism  or  a  heartless  etiquette. 

Death  is  rapidly  taking  from  us  our  old  men  and 
women.  You  may  not,  my  young  friends,  miss  their 
personal  presence,  for  they  were  almost  lost  to  your 
society  ;  but  we,  their  successors  and  children,  may  yet 
lose  the  generous  influence  of  their  lives  and  virtues. 
Let  us  hope,  however,  for  better  things.  Let  us  cher- 
ish their  memory,  and  meditate  on  their  lives  ;  let  us 
emulate  their  example,  and  preserve  in  ourselves  the 
manly  and  womanly  graces  that  adorned  their  characters. 


Again,  how  rare,  in  this  wrangling  and  unstable 
generation,  is  that  noble  old  virtue — strict  probity,  and 
stern,  inflexible  integrity  of  character  !  I  do  not  mean 
simple  veracity,  or  mere  truthfulness  of  utterance  ;  but 
that  more  comprehensive  truthfulness  that  glorifies  the 
whole  man.  I  mean  sincerity  of  profession,  fidelity  to 
principle,  and  a  sacred  regard  for  every  promise  and 
plighted  word.  1  mean  consistency  of  life  and  har- 
mony of  character.  In  a  word,  I  mean  that  true  and 
lofty  lionor^  which  loathes  the  fdse,  the  pretentious,  the 
meretricious,  and  the  mean  ;   which  scorns  the  petty  de- 

12  SAMUEL     L.    WILLIAMS. 

vices  of  narrow  policy,  and  which,  in  all  the  details  of 
public  and  private  life, — in  adverse  and  in  prosper- 
ous times,  in  calms  and  in  storms, — renders  a  man 
absolutely  trustworthy  and  safe. 

And  how  conspicuous  did  this  cardinal  virtue  shine 
forth  in  the  life  of  our  venerable  brother  !  True  to 
himself  and  to  principle,  he  lived  in  resolute  harmony 
with  all  that  he  professed.  If  faithfulness  to  any 
conviction  threatened  him  with  loss,  he  hastened  to 
meet,  rather  than  to  avert,  the  consequences.  If  friends 
threatened  to  turn  from  him,  he  let  them  go,  but  never 
without  some  tender  emotion.  If  danger,  like  an 
armed  angel,  stood  in  his  pathway,  to  arrest  or  to  divert 
his  course,  he  went  forward  still,  without  concern  or 
alarm.  If,  in  fidelity  to  truth,  he  must  give  up  party 
and  all  the  patronage  and  honors  of  party,  and  stand 
alone,  or  in  honest  alliance  with  former  enemies,  he 
never  hesitated  to  abandon  party  and  preserve  his  integ- 
rity and  self-respect. 

We  must  lament,  however,  the  seeming  decadence, 
in  our  times,  of  this  fundamental  element  of  true  man- 
hood. It  may  be,  fellow-citizens,  that  in  a  popular 
government  like  ours,  political  corruption,  bred  from 
the  ambition  of  small  men,  is  unavoidable  ;  that  the 
social  purity  is  corrupted  by  the  strategy  and  finesse  of 
political  rings  ;   and  that    the   disastrous    consequences, 


extending  to  all  spheres  of  life,  infect,  at  last,  the  char- 
acter of  a  whole  people. 

Be  the  cause  what  it  may,  we  have  to  regret  that 
truth  in  high  places,  and  too  often  in  the  humbler 
walks  of  life, — truth  as  the  distinguishing  virtue  of  a 
generation — shines  not  with  that  simple,  unobscured 
splendor  that  was  the  glory  of  the  age  that  has  departed. 
We  feel  to-day,  with  a  peculiar  force,  the  truth  of 
David's  declaration  : 

'*  It  is  better  to  trust  in  the  Lord  than  to  put  con- 
fidence i-n  man  ; 

"  It  is  better  to  trust  in  the  Lord  than  to  put  confi- 
dence in  princes." 

In  commercial  dealings,  in  friendships,  in  declara- 
tions, in  professions,  in  offices  of  trust,  in  the  most 
sacred  functions  of  fiduciary  service,  how  often  do  we 
say,  or  hear  it  said.  We  know  not  in  whom  to  trust,  what 
to  believe,  or  what  to  expect !  The  times  change,  and 
we  change  with  them  ;  the  wind  veers,  and  we  veer  with 
it ;  the  current  eddies,  or  drives,  or  stands,  and  men, 
without  fixedness  of  principle  or  the  sublime  constancy 
of  truth,  whirl  or  rush,  pause  or  go  back  on  themselves, 
with  all  the  varying  currents  of  petty  incident  or  petty 

But  I  believe,  my  brethren,  with  you,  that  Truth 
in  all  her  beautiful  phases,  whether  as  probity  of  char- 
acter, or  as  the  wisdom  that  comes  from  above,  will  be 

14  SAMUEL    L.     WILLIAMS. 

again  unveiled  to  our  vision  ;  that  men  will  again  hold, 
as  they  have  held  in  a  less  artificial  age,  that  to  be  true 
to  self,  to  man,  and  to  God,  is  the  only  foundation  of 
an  honorable  and  virtuous  manhood. 

But  if  there  was  one  trait  of  the  olden  character 
that  distinguished  our  brother  more  than  another,  it  was 
his  moral  courage — his  readiness  to  expose  himself  to  per- 
sonal danger,  and  to  every  form  and  degree  of  self- 
sacrifice,  in  the  defense  or  maintenance  of  a  righteous 

There  are  two  kinds  of  heroes  in  this  world.  Some 
men  are  bold  and  reckless  of  life  in  the  pursuit  of  a 
selfish  end— in  the  hunt  for  wealth,  or  in  the  chase  for 
fame.  Avarice  has  emboldened  men  to  deeds  of  self- 
denial  and  daring  worthy  of  a  nobler  passion.  Ambi- 
tion has  made  heroes  on  the  land  and  on  the  sea.  These 
lower  principles  have  peopled  the  earth  with  giants,  and 
gilded  the  pages  of  history  with  an  attractive  but  illusive 

But  the  moral  hero  is  of  a  nobler  stock.  He  is 
brave  for  the  right  ;  he  gives  up  wealth  and  fame,  and 
life,  too,  if  needs  be,  for  the  truth's  sake.     Whether  on 


the  tented  field,  or  in  the  grave  assembly,  or  in  the 
ordinary  walks  of  men,  he  fights,  and  talks,  and  works, 
not  to  build  up  self,  but  unselfishly  to  build  up  a  cause. 

The  striking  exemplifications  of  this  sort  of 
courage,  to  be  found  in  the  life  of  our  brother,  are 
numerous — too  numerous,  in  fact,  to  mention.  I 
might  refer  to  many  passages  during  his  seventeen  years 
of  civil  life  in  the  legislative  halls  of  the  State;  I  might 
cite  you  to  unrecorded  deeds  and  sufferings  amid  the 
scenes  of  the  second  war  with  England  ;  to  the  toil- 
some and  bloody  campaign  of  Winchester,  in  the 
Northwest,  and  to  the  horrible  scenes  of  Raisin  and 
Fort  Maiden.  I  might  cite  you  to  many  an  incident  il- 
lustrative of  his  prowess,  like  that  related  recently  by  one 
of  his  old  soldiers, — how  that,  when,  on  a  certain  occa- 
sion, at  the  head  of  a  detachment,  having  discovered  the 
enemy  in  a  strong  inclosure,  he  rushed  forward  alone, 
regardless  of  their  superior  number  and  their  position, 
and  tearing  away  the  palisades,  leaped  in  at  the  breach, 
exclaiming,  "  Come  on,  my  men  !" — sublimely  cour- 
ageous toward  the  foe,  and  sublimely  trustful  in  the 
courage  of  his  men. 

But  I  choose  to  pass  by  all  these  reminiscences  of 
his  civil  and  military  life,  and,  as  illustrative  of  his 
moral  courage,  cite  you  to  his  conduct,  when  John 
Smith,  in  a  nobler  strife  than  that  with  England,  burst 
the  bands   of  an   ecclesiastical  tyranny,  and,  amid  ridi- 

l6  SAMUEL     L.     WILLIAMS. 

cule  and  scorn,  and  persecution,  declared  that  the  chil- 
dren of  God  were  free,  that  the  Word  was  every  man's 
creed,  and  the  right  to  interpret  that  Word  for  himself 
was  inherent  and  inalienable. 

Do  you  remember,  my  old  brethren,  the  first  mut- 
terings  of  that  storm,  which  was  brewed  right  here  in 
your  very  midst,  and  which,  in  a  few  years,  swept  over 
the  State  with  a  rage  that  uprooted  churches,  distracted 
society,  and  almost  kindled  the  torch  of  ecclesiastical 
war?  It  cost  much  in  that  day  to  belong  to  Smith's 
forlorn  hope.  He  that  would  God  speed  the  despised 
heretic,  must  make  up  his  mind  to  suffer  all  that  big- 
otry could  inflict.  Whether  professing  religion  or  not, 
he  must  suffer  proscription,  the  loss  of  friends,  of  busi- 
ness, and  of  reputation. 

Gen.  Samuel  L.  Williams  was  raised  a  Calvinist 
of  the  strictest  sect.  All  his  religious  ideas  were  formed, 
and  his  entire  religious  character  was  molded,  by  the 
dogmas  of  that  extraordinary  creed  as  they  were  then 
expounded.  Yet  when  he  grew  to  manhood,  and  began, 
with  his  strong,  natural  sense,  to  think  for  himself,  he 
rejected  the  doctrine  of  the  day  as  inconsistent  with  the 
Divine  character,  and  incompatible  with  his  ideas  of 
justice  and  goodness. 

Consequently,  he  never  sought  religion  as  it  was 
then  presented,  nor  did  he  ever  w'nh  to  seek  it.  It  was 
to  him  a  thing  without  truth  and  attractiveness.      He 

IN     MEMORIAM.  I  y 

was  therefore  an  opponent  of  the  strict  dogma  of  the 
times;  but  he  was  always  an  admirer  of  the  religion  of 
Jesus  as  it  was  taught  in  his  Word  and  exemplified  in 
his  wondrously  beautiful  life. 

When  John  Smith  began  to  preach  the  ancient 
gospel  and  to  teach  Christianity  among  you,  General 
Williams  heard  and  approved.  From  that  day, 
though  not  for  some  time  afterward  obedient  to  the 
faith,  he  became  its  advocate.  He  stepped  forth  from 
the  ranks  of  a  popular  orthodoxy,  and  stood  by  the 
side  of  him  who  was  already  covered  with  contumely 
and  sneers.  He  gave  up  friendships  ;  he  threw  busi- 
ness and  office  and  reputation  into  the  scale;  and  he  re- 
solved to  stand  by  his  bold  and  honest  friend,  though 
they  should  perish  together. 

He  gave  to  Smith  all  the  support  that  he  could. 
No  man  ventured  to  speak  a  word  against  him  in  the 
hearing  of  his  friend.  He  gave  to  him,  in  personal 
danger,  his  strong  arm;  in  pecuniary  straits,  his  purse; 
and  at  all  times  his  influence  and  entire  support ;  and 
that,  too,  when  it  was  infamous,  socially  and  religiously, 
to  befriend  such  a  man. 

This  was  courage,  my  brethren,  moral  courage, 
almost  sublime.  The  success  of  the  cause  we  love  is, 
in  this  section  of  the  State  at  least,  more  indebted  to 
the  old  man,  whom  we  remember  to-day,  than  to  any 
other  that  had  as  yet  made  no  profession  of  religion. 

l8  SAMUEL     L.    WILLIAMS. 

But,  it  may  be  asked,  are  not  all  these  virtues, 
which  we  have  predicated  of  the  old  Kentucky  gentleman, 
equally  the  characteristics  of  a  Christian  gentleman? 
Most  assuredly  they  are.  Yet  it  is  equally  true  that 
one  may  have  all  these  and  not  be  a  Christian.  It  is 
true  that  all  these  graces  are  the  fruits  of  Christianity, 
but  Christ  is  not  always  acknowledged  as  the  Vine 
that  produces  them.  The  sun  shines,  and  thousands  of 
things  put  on  beauty  and  sweetness  which  see  not  the 
sun.  They  are  glorified  by  a  reflected  but  unacknowl- 
edged light.  And  so  Christ  shines  upon  the  world. 
Some  receive  the  influence  of  his  life  consciously 
and  gratefully  ;  others  receive  that  influence  indirectly 
and  unconsciously.  They  have  light  only  as  it  is  re- 
flected from  parental  example,  or  national  institutions, 
or  civil  legislation.  They  erroneously  ascribe  to  civil- 
ization or  to  education  the  light  which  comes  only  from 
the  Christ.  Hence  there  is  in  the  world  an  unconscious 
Christianity,  or  morality  rather,  as  well  as  a  true  Chris- 
tianity that  confesses  and  honors  the  Christ. 

The  virtues  that  so  nobly  adorned  our  fathers 
were,  indeed,  the  fruits  of  that  truth  which  began  to 
shine  when  the  Sun  of  Righteousness  first  arose  with 
healing  in  his  beams.  But  those  good  men  did  not  al- 
ways feel  or  acknowledge  their  indebtedness  to  Christ. 
They  blindly  or  arrogantly  claimed  all  their  goodness  as 
their  own. 


It  is  in  this  very  respect  that  the  Christian  is  dis- 
tinguished from  the  upright,  moral  man  of  our  times. 
The  one  arrogates,  the  other  believes  ;  the  one  trusts  in 
himself,  the  other  in  Christ;  the  one  says,  "  I  can  do  all 
things,"  the  other  says,  "  Not  1,  but  the  Christ  in  me  ;" 
the  one  indulges  in  self-praise  for  his  many  virtues,  the 
other  ascribes  all  praise  to  God  the  Father,  who  re- 
deemed him  from  ignorance  and  sin  through  Jesus 
Christ,  the  Immanuel. 

We  would  err,  therefore,  were  we  to  claim  that  be- 
cause our  venerable  brother  was,  in  his  earlier  life,  an  up- 
right and  honorable  man  ;  because  he  was  frugal  in 
habit  and  contented  in  disposition  ;  because  he  was  a 
trustworthy  and  patriotic  citizen,  a  brave  and  humane 
soldier,  a  hospitable  neighbor,  and  truly  courageous; — 
that  because  he  was  distinguished  by  all  these  excellen- 
cies of  character,  therefore  he  was  a  Christian.  We 
have  not  so  learned  the  Christ. 


And  this  brings  us  to  the  consideration  of  another 
phase  of  his  life,  from  which  we  may  derive  the  most 
important  lesson  that  he  has  left  behind,  and  by  which 
he  has  bequeathed  the  richest  of  legacies  to  his  children 
and  his  children's  children. 

20  SAMUEL     L.    WILLIAMS. 

While  living  in  the  habitual  practice  of  all  the  vir- 
tues that  define  a  noble  man,  he  was  not  at  peace  with 
himself.  There  was  an  undefined  and  restless  want  that 
he  long  tried  in  vain  to  satisfy.  If  man's  highest  hap- 
piness can  be  found  in  a  thrifty,  healthy  family,  the 
father  was  blessed  ;  if  it  can  be  found  in  a  faithful, 
affectionate  and  competent  helpmeet  the  husband  was 
truly  blessed;  if  it  be  found  in  a  prosperous  business 
and  a  sufficiency  of  this  world's  goods,  he  had  all  that 
heart  could  crave  ;  if,  in  the  patriotic  service  of  his 
country,  in  field  or  in  council,  and  in  a  country's  grati- 
tude, he  could  ask  for  no  more  :  yet  he  had  all  these 
things,  and  was  still  unsatisfied.  He  tried  every  form 
of  life's  honorable  experience;  he  grew  gray  in  the  vain 
attempt  to  satisfy  an  immortal  spirit  with  the  pleasures 
and  honors  and  service  of  a  life  that  is  earthly  and 
brief;  and,  having  tasted  every  worldly  cup,  he  turned 
at  last  to  that  Fountain  of  which,  if  a  man  drink,  he 
shall  never  thirst  again. 

Dear  old  man  !  we  thank  thee  for  all  thy  sterling 
virtues  ;  for  thine  inflexible  truth,  thy  generous  hospi- 
tality, thv  moral  courage,  thy  simple-hearted  content, 
thy  public  service,  and  thy  perfect  trustworthiness  in 
all  the  relations  of  life  :  but  we  thank  thee  most — and 
we  gratefully  bless  thee  this  day — that  thou  hast  taught 
us,  by  thine  own  experience  and  thy  last  best  example, 

IN     MEMORIAM,  21 

that  true  honor  and  peace  can  be  found  only  in  the  ac- 
knowledgment and  loving  service  of  the  "  Lamb  that 
taketh  away  the  sin  of  the  world  !" 

Let  this  suffice!  Thou  hast  not  lived  thy  long 
and  wearisome  life  in  vain,  if  thou  hast  taught  us,  the 
children  of  another  generation,  this  lesson:  That  faith 
in  Jesus  is  the  only  victory  and  peace,  the  only  crown 
of  excellency  to  a  virtuous  manhood,  and  the  only  hope 
of  glory  in  the  life  to  come. 

And  may  our  Heavenly  Father  impress  the  lesson 
of  the  hour  upon  the  hearts  of  all  !  May  he  bless  it 
to  you,  my  old  brethren,  who  can  not  long  stay  behind. 
This  world  is  now  of  little  worth  to  you.  You  have 
drunk  the  cup  of  the  earthly  life,  and  only  the  dregs  are 
left.  Friends  have  dropped  away  from  you, — love's 
charmed  circle  has  been  broken  again  and  again, — and 
now,  I  know,  you  feel  your  loneliness.  In  vain  you 
try  to  catch  the  spirit  of  the  on-coming  age.  Your 
voyage  here  is  over  ;  you  must  cast  your  anchor  in  the 
seas  beyond.  Let  go,  then,  your  heart's  hold  on  the 
life  that  is,  and  seize  the  eternal  world  that  dawns  upon 
you.  Rest  in  Christ,  and,  soon,  sweet  will  be  your 
sleep  ;  and  your  awakening  will  be  to  a  life  that  never 
ends, — to  a  youth  that  knows  no  age, — to  a  bliss  that 
is  without  alloy, — and  to  a  glory  that  is  unfading  and 
eternal  in  the  heavens  ! 

22  SAMUEL    L.    WILLIAMS. 

And  may  all  the  virtues  of  a  father's  character 
descend  and  abide  on  you,  my  young  kinsmen,  as  the 
richest  portion  of  your  patrimony  !  Your  father  be- 
queathed to  you  strong  minds  and  strong  bodies  ;  ac- 
cept, also,  the  best  legacy  that  a  father  can  leave  to  his 
children, — the  example  of  a  soul  strong  in  manly  pur- 
pose, true  to  principle,  pure  in  honor,  but  resting,  at 
last,  like  a  trustful  child,  in  the  blessedness  of  Jesus' 

Of  a  numerous  and  robust  family,  only  one*  is 
left!  And  more  than  three  score  years  and  ten  have 
wasted  his  vigor  and  bent  his  form.  In  a  few  years,  at 
most,  he,  too,  will  fiill  asleep,  and  be  gathered  to  his 
fathers  !  It  is  hard  for  us,  my  young  brethren,  to  enter 
into  full  sympathy  with  such  a  man, — left  alone  in  the 
world,  the  solitary  representative  of  a  large  family  ; — 
father,  mother,  brothers,  sisters,  and  all  the  compan- 
ions and  friends  of  his  early  life,  gone  to  their  graves  ! 

May  our  Heavenly  Father  give  to  him,  daily, 
glimpses  of  the  beautiful  hereafter, — foretastes  of  the 
good  things  to  come, — strength  to  bear  his  loneliness, 
and  patience  to  await  his  change  ! 

The  Smiths,  the  Williamses,  the  Hathaways,  the 
Stoners,  the  Aliens,  the  Joneses,  the  Lanes,  the  Brutons, 
the    McDanolds,    the   Carringtons,    the   Jamesons,    the 

■Dr.  Ch.irU-   v..  Williams 

IN     M  E  M  O  R I A  M . 


Highlands,  the  Phelpses,  and  others, — all  are  gone,  or 
soon  must  go !  And  what  will  then  become  of 
Somerset,  dear  old  Somerset?  Where  will  then  be 
her  sweet  old  songs,  her  cordial  fellowship,  her  simple 
worship,  and  her  burning  zeal  ? 

Brethren  of  Somerset  !  you  are  the  eldest  daughter 
of  the  Reformation.  Awake  !  arise  !  and  may  God 
help  you  to  maintain  here  the  doctrine  and  practice  of 
the  early  saints,  and  to  be  always,  as  you  have  been, 
the  salt  of  the  earth,  and  the  light  of  the  world  ! 



0  014  613  913  9